Mary Ann Fuller – wife of Chen Quin Jack

Born: 9 November 1868 in Spring Hill, Brisbane QLD (no record found in QLD BDM)
Died: 12 May 1943 in Tingha NSW aged 75
Father: FULLER William
Mother: McCLURE Hester

Esther, Mary’s mother, travelled down through NSW with her child, perhaps seeking work in mining towns. In 1877, when Mary was 10 years old, her mother Esther found security in an enduring marriage with William Too Tong, a Chinese miner, and laborer.

Together they had 5 children — Ellen, William, Joseph, Sarah, Sidney. Strangely, on the birth certificates, Esther has given her daughter’s name Mary Ann Fuller as the mother.

Chen Quin Jack married Mary Ann Fuller in 1886 in the Wesleyan Methodist church in Tingha. He was 49 and Mary 18. Together they had eight children: William Henry, Ethel May, Frederick Charles (my great Grandfather), Sidney Lesley, Violet Sylvia, Veronica Pearl, Cecil Ambrose.

Marriage Cert Mary Fuller & Chen Quin Jack
Marriage Certificate Mary Fuller & Chen Quin Jack -25 March 1886 Tingha NSW

Mary Fuller having grown up in a mixed-race family, having half-Chinese siblings and a Chinese step-father, perhaps explains why it was considered acceptable for this young 18-year old white woman to marry a 49-year old Chinese man. Marriage to Quin Jack would have given Mary security and stability.

Until recently we weren’t aware of any existing photographs of Quin Jack. My mother Chris Brown, found two very small, but good quality photos. The first, a portrait of a single Chinese male and the second a couple with a baby. The same Chinese man appeared in both. Because we can identify Mary, we knew that the ‘man’ in the photograph with her, was none-other than Quin Jack.

What is particularly interesting in the photograph of the couple, that while Quin Jack is wearing European clothing, on close scrutiny, we can detect his traditional Chinese Queue, Mary is well dressed, the style typical of the 1880s, a two-piece matching rigid corset, and bustle with jeweled accessories which reasonably accurately dates the photograph from the late 1880’s to mid-1890s. The baby – possibly their first-born child – William Henry ‘Billo’ born 1887.

1880s photo Chinese man Chen Quin Jack & Mary Ann Fuller
his is a family portrait of Chen Quin Jack, with his wife Mary Ann Fuller and possibly their firstborn child – William Henry ‘Billo’ born 1887, this could date the photo too late 1880 to mid-1890s

Children of Mary and Quin Jack

Quin and Mary had seven surviving children amongst them my Great Grandfather Frederick Charles (seen in the oval) who was born in 1889. The other children were William (Billo), Ethel (Cissy), Sidney (Les), Silvia, Cecil, and Veronica.

Children of Mary Fuller and Quin Jack

William Henry Jack
BIRTH — 1887, Tingha, NSW Australia
DEATH — 3 APR, 1963, Tingha, NSW Australia

Frederick Charles Jack
BIRTH — 20 NOV 1888 Tingha, NSW Australia
DEATH — 19 DEC 1931, Inverell, NSW Australia (drowning)

Ethel May Jack
BIRTH — 01 FEB 1890, Tingha, NSW Australia
DEATH — 25 JUL 1949, Petersham, NSW, Australia

Sydney Leslie Jack
BIRTH — 5 MAR 1896, Bundarra, NSW Australia
DEATH — 1993, Coonabarabran NSW Australia

Sylvia Violet Jack
BIRTH — 29 JUL 1898, Tingha NSW Australia
DEATH — 16 JAN 1975,  NSW Australia

Cecil Ambrose Jack
BIRTH — 10 JULY 1901, Cope-Hardinge Creek, Tingha, NSW. Australia
DEATH — Unknown

Veronica Pearl Jack
BIRTH — 1907, Tingha, New South Wales
DEATH — 2 OCT, 1973, Concord, New South Wales, Australia

In my collection, I have two early Tingha School photographs.

Tingha Public School in 1899
This is Tingha Public School in 1899, there is an inscription that three of the Jack siblings are in the picture: Ethel, Cecil and Billy Jack.

Opal School Tingha c1890

2 Replies to “Mary Ann Fuller – wife of Chen Quin Jack”

  1. Kira, I was just looking at your two fabulous photos of Tingha Public School. If Cecil, born 1901 is in it, it can’t be taken in 1899. Regards Bronwyn


    1. Hi Bronwyn
      Thanks for point out that discrepancy, the date of the photo is actually correct as it has been printed on the photo so the issue would be with the caption which was added at a later date.


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